Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Aleks' New Car and the Drug Smoking Object

August 4, 2020 at approximately 6 pm

I handed her the keys today and I couldn't concentrate on the moment because her entire life was racing across the movie screen of my mind. When Alice asked the White Rabbit, "How long is forever? The White Rabbit replied, "Sometimes, just one second."

Summer 2018 was the first time I put her behind the wheel. She was only fourteen and we hijacked the parking lot of a local park. She'd had a history of running everything she'd ever tried to ride or drive into walls. I knew that I needed to start early on driving. I thought I was so clever and that I'd gotten the jump on time... but time gets the laugh on me... I swear it was only a second ago.

The shouted curses, the laughter, the shared smiles of the moment somehow fade... into today, this moment where I photograph her all grown up in a beautiful dress, holding the keys, about to drive away without me.

She's halfway through her senior year, a full semester ahead. She'll send off her application to Anderson University this week and she's working some forty hours per week at her summer job. She is driven, she is strong, she is beautiful.

This is the girl on the pony ride, the girl who danced on the curb while she waited for her bus, the girl who took my hand and sat on my lap. Here she is with car keys in her hand.

And she is beautiful. She is smiling. I am shocked, I am thrilled, I am proud of who she has become. The keys are in her hands, and she is ready for the drive.

Aleks found my tire gauge... I also had a lighter in the console. I always have a lighter in my car, it's part of my emergency preparedness... you never know when you might need a fire. She thought it was drug paraphernalia... I've laughed so hard that I've nearly hurt my side. But hey, she's looking out for me too.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Weird Summer

August. How can it be August? This is madness. I'm not sure if we've all collectively gone insane or if I suffer a solitary affliction? Nothing is quite right. We do what we've always done but we're strangers to our lives. I don't know who all these masked familiars have become... I don't think they recognize themselves. I didn't see fear like this when we thought the Russians might nuke us. We still did the same useless, mindless sort of "safety" things though... hide under your desk, wear this mask. 

You're not at danger until you are and once you are it's pointless anyway. Don't look at the flash, don't touch your face. Tuck your head between your knees, use hand sanitizer. It's the Russians, it's the Chinese. Be afraid. Just be afraid. We'll spend our way out of it while we shut down main street. You can riot and you can shop but don't you dare go to church.

History will see the worst part of this weird summer. There are those who can sit safely in their homes while Grub Hub, Freshly, and Walmart delivers everything you need for a fee. We feast behind closed doors and get fat.... while the faceless starve and die in third world countries because us, the insured, able-bodied, and healthy shut down vital supply chains so that the already impoverished can be cut off from all hope. We'll all send twenty bucks to Haiti and feel better about ourselves as we slather our chins with garlic butter sauce as it drips from our pizza.

My dog doesn't go hungry and I go to bed at night with a million faces staring at me with swollen bellies and those empty eye sockets. Oh sure, you know someone who died of COVID-19 and I should take it more seriously... blah, blah, blah. How many do we know who died of heart disease, of cancer, of pneumonia, of suicide, of car accident, of drug overdose? You're all going to die and I bet for the majority of you it won't be COVID-19, but by all means buy your toilet paper,  rub on your hand-sanitizer, and hide behind your masks.

Who knew that paper on your face could save the world? Paper... our salvation is paper. Toilet paper and surgical masks. The great answer and hope of the 21st century. We might as well wear plague masks, at least then we could appear as the monsters we've become.